In January this year, legislators in Pennsylvania proposed to make unwanted tracking or stalking via an AirTag or electronic trackers illegal and punishable, Ohio is ready to do the same. A bipartisan bill was introduced in the Ohio House to criminalize the use of electronic tags to stalk or track users without their consent by Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (Democrat) and Rep. Tom Patton (Republican).
AirTag is one of Apple’s devices, retailing for only $29. Integrated with the Find My app and Find My network, AirTag very efficiently keeps a digital track of an item in real-time. Unfortunately, the technology is also used by individuals with malicious intentions to steal cars, kidnap, domestic abuse, theft, human trafficking, and other illegal activities. Therefore, different states in the United States of America are passing laws to protect citizens from the misuse of electronic and digital trackers.
Unwanted stalking through AirTag or an app will become punishable under the new bill Ohio, U.S.
According to 3News, the new Ohio bill “HB672” cracks down on all forms of tracking people without their consent either through an electronic tracker like AirTag or a digital tracking app; “To generally prohibit a person from knowingly installing a tracking device or application on another person’s property without the other person’s consent.”
The proposed bill is a result of an investigation by 3News which found that there was an increase in the use of devices like AirTag to stalk people and that at least 19 states had implemented laws against unwanted tracking and Ohio was not one of them.
Therefore, as an advocate of bipartisan legislation, 3News lobbied local legislators to ensure protection against unwanted tracking. Representative Sykes said:
“This was an issue that I was not aware about, until you contacted us, and I’m so grateful that you were advocating for one of our constituents as she was very nervous, scared, and confused about the fact that someone could perpetuate such an offensive act against her. Now we are acting on her behalf, and as well as others who have experienced these types of situations, or who may be subjected to them in the future.”
Although Apple has launched AirTag with several safety features to prevent stalking, miscreants have still found ways to misuse the technology. Thus, to ensure that such criminals do not get away with impunity, the laws against unwanted or stalking through electronic trackers are necessary for citizens’ safety.